ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) have started lobbying for the position of Senate chairman and both parties are in the process of contacting smaller parties as well as independent senators for support.
The jostling comes a day after elections were held for 52 seats of the Upper House of Parliament, the outcome of which has seen the ruling PML-N and main opposition PPP getting almost equal representation in the Senate over the next three years.
But despite winning the most seats, the PML-N will continue to remain a minority party in the Senate with 26 senators as the PPP has maintained its position as the single largest party with 27 senators. This means that the race for the coveted slots of chairman and deputy chairman will be hotly contested and the role of smaller parties cannot be underestimated.
Independent senator-elect from Balochistan Yousuf Badini on Friday spoke to former president and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and assured his full cooperation for the election of a chairman and deputy chairman for the Senate.
Zardari thanked Badini for his support for the coming election to the post of Senate chairman which is scheduled to take place on March 12. Deputy Chairman for the upper house will be elected on the same day and sources have said the position would likely be given to a candidate from Balochistan this time.
Meanwhile, lobbying has also started within the newly-elected PPP senators vying for the position of Senate chairman.
Senior PPP leaders Abdul Rehman Malik, Farooq H Naek, Raza Rabbani and Aitzaz Ahsan have emerged as strong candidates for the position of chairman. However, a final decision in this regard would likely be made by Zardari during the coming week.